These cookies have been known to make elves dance for joy. Writers, too. And yoga instructors...

Our friends Deb and Joey were coming over for dinner. They offered to bring something, but being the over-achieving hostess I said Nah, I got this. They arrived with cookies so good I wanted to throw the dinner I’d made right out the window and just eat them.

Joey, who humbly describes himself as a “wanna-be chef,” didn’t come up with the name; he just calls them chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies. But there’s so much other baked-good excitement going on (raisins! Coconut! Cardamom! Almonds! They can be vegan! They can be non-vegan! Etc.!) that I had to give them a snappy title in his honor. I also like Joey’s free-form jazz recipe style–you’ll see many options–as well as his instruction about not worrying. He says these cookies freeze well, but I have yet to see any make it away from the table.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (stir it up before measuring)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran (optional)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 cup slivered almonds or crushed walnuts or whatever (optional)
1/3 cup Sucanot (or maple syrup or other sweeteners you like)
1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla (or more!!!)
Water as needed

* Soak shredded coconut in enough water to fully cover for about 10 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to soak for another 5 or 10 minutes.
* In a large bowl, combine flours, rolled oats, oat bran, Sucanot, salt, spices, and baking soda. Stir in chips, nuts, raisins, and whatever else you wanna throw in there.
* Mix oil, soaked coconut, and 2 more tablespoons water in glass measuring cup. (If using liquid sweetener, add it now.)
* Stir the wet into the dry until flour is absorbed. Batter will be thick but if it’s too stiff to work with, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. It’s better to use too little water at first because you can always add more. Mix batter as little as possible (without worrying about it, of course!)
* Make balls of dough and then flatten and shape with your fingers to about 1/4 inch thick and place on greased cookie sheet.
* Bake on center shelf of preheated 375 degree oven until lightly browned on the bottom, about 16-19 minutes.
* Transfer cookies to a rack to cool. Enjoy with gratitude.